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New York Times, Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Author: Pawel Fludzinski
Editor: Will Shortz
Pawel Fludzinski
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
77/12/20127/19/20171
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1102210
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 33 Missing: {FJQVXZ} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Fludzinski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Pawel Fludzinski notes: Last fall while at an art fair, I ran across these Shakespeare, Socrates, Sartre and Sinatra 'quotes' twice in one day. By the ... more
Pawel Fludzinski notes:

Last fall while at an art fair, I ran across these Shakespeare, Socrates, Sartre and Sinatra "quotes" twice in one day. By the second time, I realized that the number of letters in the phrases matched — and a possible theme was born. I suspect like most readers of the constructors' comments on XWord Info, we observe things around us through a unique lens of letter counts, interesting words, and other filters of a crossword constructor.

Of course Will and Joel greatly improved my clues, changing about half of them and tweaking the grammar in a handful more. I originally assumed this puzzle would appear on a Monday (perhaps Tuesday) if accepted, so their editorial assistance tightened the consistency of the degree-of-difficulty of the clues. As a still relatively inexperienced constructor, I find setting the right tone for clues as one of the more challenging aspects of construction. I often get enamored with a possible clue, without fully appreciating whether or not it is appropriate for a given puzzle.

In the end, I hope solvers share the same moment of amusement from the theme that I did when I ran across it (twice!) last fall.

Jeff Chen notes: Singing, strangers in the night … doo be doo be doo … wait. DOO BY DOO BY DOO? It took me a long time to figure out ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Singing, strangers in the night … doo be doo be doo … wait. DOO BY DOO BY DOO? It took me a long time to figure out that it's DOOBY DOOBY DOO. As nonsense words, there's probably no "correct" spelling. Considering the rest of the themers though — TO BE OR NOT TO BE, TO BE IS TO DO, TO DO IS TO BE — man oh man, did I want DOO BE DOO BE DOO.

Ah well.

Doo by, doo by do ... I mean, dooby dooby doo ...

A puzzle without super high theme density — four medium to long themers — can definitely be executed in just 72 words, while incorporating colorful and clean fill. If done well, it can allow the constructor to toss in a ton of snazzy bonus fill. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it though, since constructors who chose to do this accept all sorts of compromises.

Today, I thought Pavel did a great job of this construction feat, introducing a ton of long fill like DEAR SANTA, CALL SIGNS, CIABATTA, RARE BOOK, etc. while keeping his gluey bits to a minimum. With just a bit of SSTS ABED ENTR, this 72-word puzzle turned out smooth.

I really appreciated that effort today. The theme got to be a bit repetitive, so all the bonus long fill really helped keep my attention.

The theme felt a bit loose for my taste — variations on BE — but there was something fun about the Sartre and Socrates quotes mirroring each other. I don't totally get what TO BE IS TO DO or TO DO IS TO BE means, but they sure sound philosophically deep.

1
R
2
O
3
S
4
A
5
A
6
M
7
E
8
S
9
S
10
C
11
R
12
E
13
W
14
E
N
T
R
15
M
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N
T
16
T
I
A
R
A
17
D
E
A
R
18
S
A
N
T
A
19
L
A
R
R
Y
20
T
O
B
E
O
R
N
O
T
21
T
O
B
E
22
O
N
L
A
T
E
23
M
U
M
24
A
B
25
E
26
D
27
P
E
E
R
28
T
29
O
B
E
I
30
S
T
O
D
O
31
A
T
M
S
32
S
T
O
I
C
33
C
34
A
35
S
36
I
N
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S
37
R
38
E
T
A
K
E
S
39
A
L
I
S
T
40
B
O
Y
S
41
T
O
D
O
I
42
S
43
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B
E
44
S
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W
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A
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N
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S
T
E
T
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I
O
N
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H
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O
P
E
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D
O
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B
Y
D
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B
Y
D
O
O
55
C
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H
O
P
S
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C
A
L
L
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I
G
N
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O
B
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E
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A
G
E
E
60
N
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C
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61
T
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R
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63
G
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0511 ( 24,291 )
Across Down
1. Parks who sparked a boycott : ROSA
5. City of central Iowa : AMES
9. Install, as a bulb, with "in" : SCREW
14. ___'acte : ENTR
15. In perfect condition : MINT
16. Prom queen's wear : TIARA
17. Start of a seasonal letter : DEARSANTA
19. N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Bird : LARRY
20. Words from Shakespeare : TOBEORNOTTOBE
22. Airing after midnight, say : ONLATE
23. Closemouthed : MUM
24. In the sack : ABED
27. ___ pressure : PEER
28. Words from Socrates : TOBEISTODO
31. Convenience store conveniences : ATMS
32. Showing no emotion : STOIC
33. Major employers on reservations : CASINOS
37. Directors' do-overs : RETAKES
39. Crème de la crème : ALIST
40. All Harrow students : BOYS
41. Words from Sartre : TODOISTOBE
44. A cygnet is a baby one : SWAN
48. [Ignore prior marks] : STET
49. Particle in a salt solution : ION
50. Possible response to "Gonna win?" : HOPETO
52. Words from Sinatra : DOOBYDOOBYDOO
55. Veal cuts : CHOPS
57. They all start with "K" and "W" in the U.S. : CALLSIGNS
58. Reed section : OBOES
59. James with a posthumous Pulitzer : AGEE
60. "I'm impressed!" : NICE
61. Sculpted body part : TORSO
62. Speedsters of old autodom : REOS
63. Turns right on a horse : GEES
1. Variety of pasture grass : REDTOP
2. Common soccer draw : ONEONE
3. Horse house : STABLE
4. Overdue debt : ARREAR
5. Almond-flavored liqueur : AMARETTO
6. Sen. Al Franken's state: Abbr. : MINN
7. Lays to rest : ENTOMBS
8. Central Park's "Alice in Wonderland," for one : STATUE
9. Normandy battle site : STLO
10. Panini bread : CIABATTA
11. Bibliophile's prize : RAREBOOK
12. Flub : ERR
13. Very, informally : WAY
18. W. C. Fields persona : SOT
21. Texter's "Didn't need to hear that!" : TMI
25. Actress Falco : EDIE
26. Nonfiction films, for short : DOCS
29. Meditation sounds : OMS
30. Fliers until '03 : SSTS
31. Start to freeze? : ANTI
33. Musical with Rum Tum Tugger : CATS
34. Scads : ALOT
35. Delivery entrance, perhaps : SIDEDOOR
36. Deuterium and tritium : ISOTOPES
37. Stick up : ROB
38. Halloween mask features : EYEHOLES
40. Slavery : BONDAGE
42. Sis, for example : SIB
43. Hot Wheels product : TOYCAR
44. Mole's work : SPYING
45. Prank involving underwear : WEDGIE
46. P.D.Q. : ATONCE
47. Executioners' devices : NOOSES
51. No longer used, in a dict. : OBS
53. ___ buco : OSSO
54. Prefix with resin : OLEO
55. Jail cell sight : COT
56. "Game of Thrones" network : HBO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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